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Abstract

Although South Africa has a very advanced and multilingual language policy with a declaration of eleven official languages in its Constitution of 1996, the implementation thereof remains a challenge. The current President Cyril Ramaphosa was the first Post-Apartheid President who used Khoekhoegowab in his State of the Nation (SONA) in 2019. Such was not the first time a President of South Africa highlighted and signposted the relevance of language policy. Due to colonialism and its dichotomy between Dutch and later Afrikaans and English and the highly politicized language policy during apartheid as THE core area and representation of constructed socio-linguistically segregation language policy in South Africa is a highly emotional and contested topic as well as African languages suffer from such stigmatization. Despite a general multilingual tone reflected in the Constitution and the South African School Act (SASA) of 1996 with its establishment of so called School Governing Bodies (SGB s), which offer a micro language policy opportunity, nothing much has significantly changed on the ground for pupils. The 2013 political initiative ‘The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African schools’ (IIAL) aimed to ensure the teaching of African languages at ALL South African schools to uplift the widespread low language attitudes towards African languages.

In: Handbook of Language Policy and Education in Countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
This book series covers the entire African continent on a national scale in order to provide a holistic overview of multilingualism and the language policies. Due to its country-by-country structure all African countries receive the same attention and space. For usability purposes, the countries are grouped in the different regional economic communities (RECs):
- Volume I: SADC
- Volume II: EAC & ECCAS
- Volume III: ECOWAS
- Volume IV: AMU & COMESA
These volumes of the series focus primarily on language-in-education policies (LiEP). The book series aims to describe and analyse the diverse challenges of LiEP for the entire African continent using a standard structure for each chapter to ensure readability. Book chapters will be mainly contributed by authors based in Africa.
This volume focuses on the different challenges of language policy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Each of the seventeen chapters follows the same structure, ensuring readability and accessibility, and describes the unique aspects of each country. The work as a whole reveals the complex and reciprocal relations between multiple indigenous African languages, Creole languages and former colonial languages and it constitutes an opportunity to notice recurring patterns as well as distinctive characteristics.
Therefore, everyone involved in language policy, education, economics and development, geography, development or area studies and African studies will benefit from such a holistic and innovative overview.